Charles William Pryor, 87, of Westport, CT and more recently Ewing, NJ, passed away on December 20th, 2022. He was predeceased by his father Charles William Pryor II, mother Berniece Weikert Pryor and sister Jane Lynn Pryor, and survived by his wife Barbara Caldwell Pryor of 65 years, son William Caldwell Pryor, daughter Jane Lynn Pryor, and sister Judith Pryor Taussig and 3 grandchildren, 2 great-grandchildren, 4 nieces and 1 nephew.
Commonly referred to by most as Bill, he was born in Punxsutawney, PA on December 13th, 1935 and spent most of his childhood years moving from town to town as part of the life of a presbyterian minister’s family. By high school, Bill had proven himself as a talented athlete where he excelled in both baseball and basketball in Niagara Falls and Weehawken, for which he received the Most Outstanding Athlete award during his senior year.
Bill attended Rutgers University and Westminster College with basketball scholarships and ultimately earned his degree from New York University, going to night school while working full-time as an accountant for the Ford Motor Company.
Bill’s business career was highlighted by many significant achievements. Shortly after graduating from NYU, he took an accounting position at Avon Products in Rye, NY. From there he rose to the top ranks in the international division with a career at Avon that spanned over 40 years. In 1964, along with just two other employees, Bill transferred to Sydney to establish the Australian division for Avon. During his eight years in Australia, he was promoted to Managing Director, leading the organization in a period of massive growth for the company. In 1972, upon returning to the US, he continued to work in Avon’s international division with responsibilities for parts of the business in Europe and South America. In 1981, he moved to Tokyo as President of Avon-Japan, where he transformed the business into the best financially performing international division. In his final chapter at Avon, Bill served as President of Avon-China where he led the subsidiary to profitability, while achieving ethical recognition for Avon through the establishment of appropriate business practices, government negotiations and relationships. With this, Bill was able to gain approval from the Chinese government for Avon-China to become the first company, after all direct selling in the country was abruptly banned, to re-enter the market. This portion of Bill’s career is well documented as the subject of a Harvard Business School Case Study.
Bill loved to travel, enjoying his favorite restaurants in Sydney, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Paris, Bangkok and Manila in the company of his business associates, friends and family. Sports remained a lifelong interest of Bill’s. He loved golf, and rooting for his favorite sports teams like the Yankees, Mets and Duke Basketball.
Per Bill’s wishes there will be no public funeral or memorial service. At some point in the future, there will be a private ceremony for family members.
In lieu of flowers, we invite people to make a donation to a charity of their choosing.